At least 40 workers died, and ten others were injured when a gold mine caved in the Northern Badakhshan province on Sunday. Badakhshan is prone to landslides, particularly in the colder months when heavy snow blankets the province.
Villagers dug a 60-metre deep shaft in a riverbed to search for gold. They were inside when the walls caved in. It was not clear why the shaft collapsed, but the provincial governor’s spokesman Nik Mohammad Nazari said the miners were not professionals.
“We have sent a rescue team to the area, but villagers have already started removing bodies from the site.”
Badakhshan is a remote, mountainous province in northeast Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.
Illegal mining is common in resource-rich Afghanistan, with the Taliban relying on the sector for much of its revenue.
Image for illustration purposes.